James Tillerson, 1939-2010
Former Theodore Roosevelt football coach James Tillerson died last night after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 70.
After serving as an assistant for two seasons, Tillerson took over the Rough Riders in 1969. During a 12-year span from 1973 to '84, Tillerson guided Roosevelt to seven appearances in the Turkey Bowl, winning three times (1974, ’76, ’79). Only Willie Stewart, Bob Headen and Craig Jefferies have coached on more Thanksgivings than Tillerson.
Tillerson also led Roosevelt to a 41-7 victory over St. John’s in the last City Title football game in 1974. He stepped down after the 1993 season.
In 2008, after Roosevelt’s field was renovated, the school dedicated it in Tillerson’s name. Last November, more than 30 former All-Met Roosevelt players attended a luncheon in Tillerson’s honor.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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